The New Year is ushering in the beginning of another mini-explosion of cruise ships that follow in the wake of 2015 launches that included P&O Cruises big Britannia, Norwegian’s Escape and Crystal Cruises innovative, extra elegant yacht/riverboat Crystal Esprit. The new ships were made possible by the record number of people now booking cruises (watch the video). Seasoned seafarers love to sample new builds, many booking inaugural cruises as soon as the word is out and reservations are made available. So to give you a heads up, so you don’t miss the boat(s), here’s what’s happening on the high seas in 2016:
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line will launch the 4,180-passenger over-the-top Ovation of the Seas in April . The Quantum Class ship focuses on an Asian market and activities such as bumper cars , skydiving simulator, and the North Star viewing pod. Also in the same month Viking Ocean Cruises will debut its 930-passenget Viking Sea–the second ocean-going vessel of the fleet which offers signature services such as an alfresco dining venue, an infinity pool with glass windows offering sea views, and a main pool, which includes a retractable roof. The line will also introduce the 5,400-passenger Harmony of the Seas, the largest-in-fleet and third Oasis Class ship, in June Harmony of the Seas: Royal Caribbean’s largest-in-fleet and third Oasis Class ship
Launch Date: June 2016
Features: Along with popular highlights from fellow Oasis-Class ships, Harmony of the Seas includes the line’s first-ever waterslides, a 10-story spiral slide, and a full-length production of “Grease”.2016. Features include the line’s first-ever waterslides, a 10-story spiral slide, and a full-length production of “Grease”.
Carnival Cruise Line – the gigantic 4,000-passenger Carnival Vista, Carnival’s largest-in-fleet and first in Vista Class, will make her bow on May 2016. Her features include an IMAX theatre, and a 450-foot waterslide. There’s also a pedal-powered, open-air aerial ride, located 150 feet above the sea, and more than twenty dining and drinking options, including an at-sea brewery.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises – this super swank line will impress the industry with its Seven Seas Explorer. Regent’s largest and most luxurious of the fleet at 738-passengers will launch July 2016. Highlights include a main theatre from which to enjoy cooking classes in the morning, concert recitals at night and other diversions. It will also host the line’s first culinary centre, the Culinary Arts Kitchen which is designed to mirror the world-renowned cooking schools of France.
Seabourn Cruise Line – the much anticipated uber-posh Seabourn Encore, which will be the line’s largest with capacity for 604 passengers will hit the sea in December 216. She will offer a restaurant created by celebrity super chef Thomas Keller, notably of Per Se in New York and The French Laundry in Napa; all suite accommodations with larger verandas; bigger public rooms that will includes a greatly expanded Seabourn Square (the ship’s hub with computers, books, barista-operated coffee bar and reception area).
Bon voyage and smooth sailing in the New Year and always.